They say they are fighting for an “Islamic state. ” But their actions tell a different story.
By brutalizing civilians and committing war crimes, the Takfiri extremists in Syria are violating the very shariah they claim to be fighting for. On Thursday, UN officials said the Takfiris are committing “a ‘soaring’ number of executions” that appear to be war crimes. The Associated Press reported: “U. N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says that over the past two weeks her office has received reports of a succession of mass executions of civilians and fighters who were no longer participating in hostilities in Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa by hardline armed opposition groups in Syria, in particular by the al - Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ” By claiming they are fighting for an “Islamic state” while committing horrendous war crimes, the Takfiris are waging a public relations jihad against Islam. No wonder the Zionists support them! I recently debated Michael Parenti, a secularist critic of religion, on my radio show. When I mentioned that Islam is the most tolerant of the three Abrahamic monotheisms, citing historical examples of Muslims protecting religious diversity, Parenti responded: Yes, that may have been true in the past, but look at Muslims now! Look at what they ' re doing in Syria! I tried to explain that the Takfiri extremists in Syria do not represent the world ' s Muslims. But since the Takfiris use and abuse the word “Islamic, ” and draw support from Saudi Arabia – the custodian of the Muslim holy cities – people like Michael Parenti use them as examples of the alleged extremism of Islam. What kind of “Islam” advocates ripping out the heart of a dead enemy and eating it for the camera? What kind of “Islam” allows the procuring of women for illicit temporary relationships with soldiers? What kind of “Islam” condones mass executions of people because they are Christians or moderate Muslims? Though war is a bloody and unpleasant business, Muslims commanders and soldiers have historically been known for their unusual degree of chivalry, mercy, and restraint. When the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) conquered his absolute worst enemies – the Meccans who had so horribly persecuted him and his followers – he foreswore revenge and commanded mercy. The opening of Mecca was the nearest thing to a bloodless conquest in the history of warfare. The example of the Prophet(PBUH) has inspired countless examples of Muslim chivalry, or “futuwwa, ” throughout history. Indeed, it was the “futuwwa” of the courteous, compassionate, self - abnegating Muslim warriors of Islamic Spain – whose kind, gentle, devoted treatment of women was then - unheard - of in Europe – who brought the notions of chivalry and courtly love to the West. By contrast, it was the Muslims’ most fanatical enemy, Hind, who ripped the liver out of the fallen Muslim warrior Hamza and ate it on the battlefield. The Takfiri cannibal who ate the Syrian soldier’s heart was symbolically declaring to the world that he was an enemy of Islam – just like Hind. Most Muslims understand this. But non - Muslims around the world who witness such atrocities are likely to mistakenly attribute them to Islam, or “Islamic extremism. ” The Takfiris are committing more and more atrocities, not only against Syrian government forces, Christians, and moderate Muslims, but also against each other. According to news reports, infighting between the al - Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other Takfiri and anti - government groups in Syria has killed hundreds of people over the past two weeks. The Takfiris make a habit of executing people who do not share their fanatical misinterpretation of Islam. This practice is utterly un - Islamic. Throughout history, Muslims have been enjoined to protect people of other religions. One noteworthy example: When the great Christian Saint Francis – the current Pope’s namesake – decided he wanted to become a martyr, he traveled into Islamic territory in order to preach Christianity and argue strongly against Islam. Francis expected the Muslims would kill him, just as the Christians would have killed a Muslim who entered Christian territory to argue strongly against Christianity. It was, after all, the year 1219, and the Fifth Crusade was raging. But no matter how hard he argued against Islam, Francis could not provoke any Muslims to violence. Sultan al - Kamil, the nephew of Salah ad - Din(Saladin), welcomed Francis to his camp and spent long nights with him in religious discussions. Neither converted the other, but the outcome was mutual respect. Sultan al - Kamil’s uncle Salah ad - Din had similarly won the respect of Christians when he re - conquered al - Quds(Jerusalem) and followed the prophetic example of showing mercy to his enemies. Today, the headlines are dominated by the likes of al - Qaeda, which claims to be defending Muslims, but actually seems to be an anti - Islam public relations campaign. Ordinary Muslims are caught between the self - styled “Islamic terrorists” and the only slightly less obnoxious, foundation - funded “professional moderate Muslims” who are willing to sell out their faith and keep their mouths shut about the 9/11 - triggered War on Islam. It ' s a New World Order pincer operation, designed to weaken Islam and make the world safe for usury, Zionism, and crass materialism. Fortunately, the world ' s Muslims are increasingly speaking out against the Takfiris in general, and the persecution of Christians in particular. A group called the Covenants Initiative is asking Muslims to sign a statement bearing witness to the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) with the Christians of the World. The Covenants Project is on - line atwww. CovenantsOfTheProphet. com. Genuine Islam is a moderate “middle way, ” not a fanatical, intolerant, or violent faith. Its strongest defense against the Takfiris and their New World Order sponsors is the truth. As the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) is reported to have said, “The best jihad is a word of truth flung in the face of a tyrant. ”[box type = " info " font = " arial " fontsize = " 9 " radius = " 10 "]Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America's best-known critics of the War on Terror. Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He is the co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, and author of the books Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (2007) and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters (2009). His website is[/box]